Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Clothing twins

Today was my philosophy class and, after all that intensive brain work, I went off to have lunch with my friend Shirley at Jamie Oliver's in Rose Street, Edinburgh.

When Shirley turned up she had bought a lovely, very comfortable pair of boots from John Lewis, that had been £130, but had been reduced to £65 and there were 2 more pairs left in our size. So after our delicious lunch we wandered off to John Lewis so I could try a pair on.

By the time we got there, there was just one pair left. I bought them, but as I had some John Lewis vouchers to the amount of £30, my boots cost me just £35. I was very pleased.

The only problem is that Shirley is a great shopping resource. I love the things she buys and quite often have been known to go and purchase the same item. We now have to be very careful and text each other before we meet to say what we're wearing for fear of turning out like a pair of clothing twins (especially in the earring department), as that would never do!

My '£35' boots

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Great to be home

Well that was a fun week!

My course was great and very enlightening and I had lots of social things to do in the evening.

On Sunday night I went out with my dear friend, Suky. We've known each other when our firstborns were first born, so that's 32 years and we always have a great time.

Monday night was dinner out at a Chinese restaurant with friends and Tuesday was the most disastrous date ever, but also very funny. It was a blind date and lasted all of 35 minutes. We were not enchanted with each other to put it mildly!

Then on Wednesday I went to meet Charlotte, who used to be a war correspondent and now heads up a women's refugee charity making films to help them. I met her on a train back last year and we've stayed in touch. She's fascinating. However, after Tuesday's disaster it was rather nice, while I was waiting for Charlotte to appear, to be chatted up by Ramon Vega, who uses to play for Spurs back in the 80's. He was hilarious and given that I'm 20 years older than him, was also great for my self-esteem. And then Charlotte turned up so I had to leave him and his pals to it while she and I went off to chat about more serious stuff.

Thursday I went to see The English National Opera perform The Pirates of Penzance. It wasn't the best production I've seen, though I loved the set design. I don't think it was helped by sitting in the gods, in the most uncomfortable seat ever and having an inebriated elderly gent behind me, who was drinking wine all the way through and laughing in very odd places. At one stage I was worried in case he spilled his wine down my back, but at least I was spared that.

And last night I came home. I arrived back in my house at 11.20 pm and it was great to be in my own space. I think my journey back was helped by my having a free back massage whilst waiting in the First Class Lounge at Kings Cross. Virgin East Coast hire Massage Angels to come and give weary passengers a massage and I had the lovely Harriet who was great. I was very grateful.

Today I'm feeling fab. Don't ask me why as it's a windy, grey day out there, but there's something about being in my own home that just can't be beat.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Off to London

After a really lovely night last night, with sparkling Shiraz shared with friends and lot of laughs and chat, it was a great way to end my birthday.

And, so it turned out, there was a lot to celebrate on the nose front as it's really looking not bad at all. I've still got a bump on my nose where there shouldn't be one and a touch of redness, but all in all I'm pretty pleased. I'm not ready to share photos yet, but watch this space and I'll post one soon.

Today I'm off to London for a 5 day course I'm on. It's partly to do with my Qiqong work and partly just for interest. It also means that I'll be staying at my mother's house. And that means I'm going out a lot!

The only night I'm not doing something is tomorrow, but I might be able to manufacture something. In fact, I know I will, as spending more than an hour with my mother at a time is more than I can deal with.

I'll report back when I'm home again on Friday.

Friday, 10 February 2017

The end of the birthday is nigh

I had my stitches out today, though it was a touch traumatic... not for me, but for the nurse as the scab and the stitches had become one and she was a bit nervous about it all. However, as far as all concerned goes, the wound seems to be healing well and the scar has been proclaimed 'nice' by the doc.

Of course for me, all I see is a bloody great bit of red and bruising all the way down my nose, but I suppose that will go in time. Either that or I'll get used to it!

Tomorrow is the end of my birthday month. I traditionally celebrate for a month just because January is such a bad time to have a birthday and people get fed up partying after Xmas and New Year, so I extend it to enable some partying to go on. And tomorrow I have a couple of friends coming over for drinks and a catch up, one of whom had her birthday on the day after mine, so in a way it's a chance for us both to celebrate each other's birthdays.

It's also a damn good way to celebrate my stitches coming out and I shall definitely make the most out of that!

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

The Council act

My clock tower is now bereft of all clocks.

The Borders council reps came down last Friday, along with the clock man, and took pics and hummed and hawed. The outcome of it all was that new faces were needed and they should be made of perspex, so there'll be no cracking or expanding or contracting. And more importantly the fixings won't rust.

I did ask if it would be possible to keep a clock face as a memento for the house. They agreed.

Then on Monday I got a phone call from the guy in charge at the Council to say that he wanted me to move my car immediately, just in case. And he wasn't happy at all with the fixings on the rest of the clock faces and they would have to be removed forthwith. Phone calls were exchanged and the clock man arranged to come down today and do the deed.

So now my poor clock tower is without a clock and looks a bit sorry for itself.

However, yesterday, while chatting with my neighbour and his son, they pointed out that the clock surrounds were made of brass and were quite valuable, so I should ask if I could keep all of them and see what I could get for them... in the end it might actually pay for the excess on my car if the Council don't cough up. My neighbour said I should play the 'girlie card' and express innocence in all things metal and just talk about memories.

I duly played my part and I'm now the proud owner of 3 clock faces and 3 brass surrounds. One of the faces is metal and didn't need a surround, hence there were only 3 surrounds and one of them was the guilty party in falling into my car.

I very nicely asked the guys if they'd be kind enough to put the faces and surrounds in the shed for me, as they were so heavy. As they did so the clock man said, 'but these surrounds are made from brass. They're worth something!' So I said, 'well they're mine now as they're in my shed!' and he laughed and that was that.

The clock face holes are all boarded up and the building looks slightly derelict, but hopefully it won't be too long before the new faces are made and fitted.

And at least the guy from the Council is in a happy place now that all bits and pieces that belong to them have been removed. I think he was genuinely scared that another astronomical insurance claim for mending my car might have been on its way!

The East facing clock face is on the ground and the guys are in the process of taking down the South facing face

South and East clock faces ready for their journey to my shed!

Wednesday, 1 February 2017


Today was my cancer procedure.

I stayed overnight last night with my lovely friends, Shirley and Andy, who live half way between me and the hospital in Glasgow. We had a really great evening, which included wine, food and a very fancy telescope, but not necessarily in that order.

This morning it was an early start and I left just after 7 a.m. for a supposed 50 minute drive ready to arrive early (such is my habit), leaving lots of time, at 8.15 (I was supposed to be there at 8.30). I actually arrived at 9. It wasn't the best start to the day, but nevertheless, with Shirley phoning on my behalf to tell the hospital I was going to be late and then my just relaxing with the traffic jam, it all seemed to flow ok in the end.

The procedure itself took about 3.5 hours all in all and I've ended up cancer-free with 5 stitches and a lot of bruising. But at least I didn't lose half of my nose as proposed by the NHS guy. I have the stitches out in 9 days time, which will happen at my GP's and then have to go back and see the surgeon in 6 weeks.

And that, as they say, is that.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Time to go home

I fly out from Port Elizabeth to Durban this afternoon and from there to Dubai and from Dubai to Glasgow. I should arrive on Friday at some point in the afternoon and am getting chauffered from there to my house to see what awaits there after the clock debacle.

The insurance company has already arranged for me to pick up a hire car, but I have to get to the garage before 5 otherwise it'll be Monday before I can be out and about on the road. I'm keeping everything crossed that things will work.

I had a fabulous weekend. The time with friends at the ocean was particularly spectacular

The view from my deckchair


We spent about 3 hours there all in all. Good company and swimming in the sea, what more could I ask for? That was followed by an extremely jovial braii, so a real fun day.

The last few days have been peppered with walking about, being out in the sun and still more reading. A thoroughly enjoyable and relaxing time.

Tracy and I went out for our last dinner together on Tuesday night as Mel (who I'd been with at the ocean) wanted to come for a last night dinner. So last night the 3 of us went to a lovely sushi place and had a great time.

And that's it! Time for holiday to end and get back to a cold and dark Scotland! However, one of my friends who I went walking on the beach with yesterday morning has said that she and her husband want to spend a Christmas in the UK. Well we got talking and thought about a house swap. So who knows? Maybe, just maybe, at some time in the future, I'll be back here in PE for some more delight in the sun.